Incumbent Bernard Parks talks about his achievements

This story is a part of our series of interviews with the candidates for Los Angeles City Council Districts 8 and 10.

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Emily Frost: Why are you running?

Bernard Parks: I’m running because I’ve had significant success in the first eight years of bringing back the community on a variety of levels. And I think we’ve turned the corner on a number of issues, whether it’s economic development or looking at the rails coming in, bringing in grocery stores for the first time in 25 years. I think the community is looking to see how this community can continue to flourish in the next four years.

Frost: How do you think you’ll respond to Governor Jerry Brown’s cuts?

Parks: Well, I think it’s going to affect us in that most of the cuts are cuts that are going to affect the county. But we will see the end result of it. Because those that can’t get those services are going to spill out into the city street. The thing that’s going to impact the city the most is if he’s successful in cutting the CRA. Then poor communities will certainly suffer in their ability to gather funds to help their community.

Frost: What’s your number one issue?

Parks: The number one issue for the district is increasing job growth.

Frost: What’s the most important thing we should know about you?

Parks: Integrity and honesty.

Frost: The most important thing about your district?

Parks: We have a district in transition, that for many decades has been ignored. There’s a great deal of frustration about being ignored. What you find when talking to people is that they’ll tell you that nothing is going on in their district. And then you start to recite to them things that are going on in their neighborhood. Just today I talked to a lady and I said, ‘Are you aware that there’s a Kaiser health facility going in on Manchester? Did you know that your library has brand new and increased number of Internet free access computers?’

Frost: What do you want people to have in mind on voting day?

Parks: The list of things that they gave me when I came into office. Many of them are achieved. They wanted to see dirt alleys paved. We paved 50 percent of them, 15 miles of dirt alleys. They wanted to see Vermont/Manchester come alive. We put a $100 million office building there. They wanted to see issues of Baldwin Hills shopping revitalization. They’ll get a new Staples, and Magic Johnson theater, a new Buffalo Wild Wings. They wanted to see public transportation. We have two new lines. We worked very hard to get Measure R passed so that we could fund public transportation, coming down Crenshaw Boulevard and the Expo Line. These are things that in each instance, we tried to make sure the community was heard and we listened to their needs. When they asked about the fact that there are no community cultural events in the district — we have now the Taste of Soul, we have the Leimert Park MLK parade, we now have jazz festivals in Leimert Park, we have fire works on the 4th of July. These are all things given back to the community that they asked for.

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Candidate Forescee Hogan-Rowles focuses on job creation

This story is a part of our series of interviews with the candidates for Los Angeles City Council Districts 8 and 10.

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Forescee Hogan-Rowles is running for the second time.

“I lost that race to Bernard Parks and I determined then that if the district wasn’t doing better in eight years, I would run again,” Hogan-Rowles said.

If elected, Hogan-Rowles says she intends to bring jobs into the community through redevelopment.

“There’s a number of things that have gone unattended under the leadership or lack of leadership of Bernard parks,” Hogan-Rowles said. “The first thing I want to work on is new job creation because we have the highest unemployment and that’s coupled with expanding local business and expanding new local business development within our district. Our corridors don’t have enough businesses operating in them and so if you have new business, then that will create new jobs.”

Hogan-Rowles served as commissioner for the Department of Water and Power, as well as commissioner for the California Commission for Economic Development. In both positions, she said, she focused on how to create jobs, and “impact new industries and support existing industries.”

Hogan-Rowles is one of incumbent Bernard Parks’ competitors. But Hogan-Rowles says what distinguishes the two of them is their relationship with the community.

“I actually like to attend meetings and enter into dialogue and hear the responses of and requests of people so we can work through and build consensus,” Hogan-Rowles said. “So when we do make a decision, everybody knows what it is. The people united will never be defeated, so we will win on March 8.”

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Candidate Andrew “Andy” Kim says he’s all for businesses

This story is a part of our series of interviews with the candidates for Los Angeles City Council Districts 8 and 10.

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When Andrew Kim immigrated to America from Korea at the age of 14, he was most impressed with the American political system.

“It’s largely a grass roots system that I really like,” Kim said.

Kim was inspired to go to law school. He practiced civil litigation for more than 20 years and, now, he is running for city council.

“I think it is very important that a person like me, who really in this district working and living it the district, really be a part of the political system,” Kim said. “Right now, the city is not responsive to the average individual professional like myself.”

Kim is running for city council in District 10, which covers diverse areas from Koreatown to parts of the Vermont corridor and the University of Southern California.

Kim says his experiences working within District 10 have helped him understand how important this area is.

“This is really the heart of Los Angeles in terms of its geography, demography and just its cultural and ethnic composition,” Kim said. “I think this area needs a change first, for Los Angeles to change.”

What changes would Kim make? He says the biggest change needs to be an economic revitalization through the creation of new jobs and incentives for business to stay in the district. He says he will use other cities as models to make sure businesses comes to and stays in his district.

“This is an area that has been economically depressed for a long time,” Kim said. “We need to have new leadership, business friendly leadership. We have nearby cities like Burbank that have business coming in and they must be doing something right in comparison to what we are doing in our district.”

Kim says most importantly he is in the race to be a voice for the average citizen.

“Throughout my law practice, I have been representing those who are weak and helpless,” Kim said. “Many senior citizens, and those hard working people, hard working couples, I think these people need to be represented in city hall. I bring in my 20 plus years of legal practice but I also bring in my heart, which is for the average citizen.”

Kim says he hopes to give back to the country and the city that has given him so much.

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Candidate Chris Brown hopes to create more jobs in his district

This story is a part of our series of interviews with the candidates for Los Angeles City Council Districts 8 and 10.

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Chris Brown was born and raised in District 10, located just off Pico Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. He attended San Jose State University while working in corporate telecommunications. However, his mother was diagnosed with cancer, so he returned to Los Angeles to take care of her before graduating. Now, Brown still lives in District 10 and is an entrepreneurial CEO and independent business professional, according to his campaign Website. We found out why he wanted to run and what plans he has for the city.

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Write-in candidate Armenak Nouridjanian discusses taxes, jobs and drugs

This story is a part of our series of interviews with the candidates for Los Angeles City Council Districts 8 and 10.

Listen to an audio story from Annenberg Radio News:


In the race for Los Angeles City Council seats, there are four candidates in District 8. One is a write-in: Armenak Nouridjanian.

Nouridjanian is used to people hearing and watching him talk. He has had his own YouTube channel, Liberal Agenda, for four years now. There, he posts political videos almost everyday. A far left democrat, Nouridjanian describes himself as an American patriot who upholds human and civil rights in his broadcasting. Now he finds himself in mainstream politics, with a spot on the ballot for Los Angeles City Council, District 8.

“I’m running because I want to take political power as a liberal,” Nouridjanian said. “I want to help political power in order to redistribute wealth. I want to take from the rich and give to the poor.”

Nouridjanian has been a security guard, graphics artist and animator. But it is clear to anyone watching his videos that his passion is politics. And he has strong opinions about pretty much every issue and specific solutions to problems he sees.

“I’m committed to changing, first of all, tax structure,” Nouridjanian said. “I want to raise taxes against oil producers in Los Angeles areas.”

This is just one of his many plans. Nouridjanian also feels strongly about Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed budget cuts.

“It would mean less social programs, it would mean less subsidies for heating and cooling, and less opportunities for poor people to get jobs,” Nouridjanian said.

This hits close to home. Nouridjanian describes his District 8 as a mainly low-income, African American and Latino immigrant population.

“There are not problems in my neighborhood but there are certain problems with street dope dealing,” Nouridjanian said. “Sometimes you can go up stairs and you smell the unpleasant stench of narcotics.”

Dealing with drugs is high on Nouridjanian’s liberal agenda and platform, as well as regulating taxes and addressing rental subsidies.

“Also I want to expedite distribution of our section 8 rental housing subsidies to poor working class people,” Nourdjanian said. “So people would live better, and have more consumer power and gain consumer power to boost retail sales. So businesses could thrive.”

Nouridjanian is up against Jabari Jumaane, Forecsee Hogan-Rowles and Bernard Parks, the current City Council member. The election is Tuesday, March 8, 2011.

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